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Tuscany Beyond Gelaterias

I bet that once in Florence you will go crazy with the variety of gelaterias (ice cream shops) and the most unimaginable ice cream flavors: licorice, cappuccino, mint&chocolate, not to mention the ones inspired by the most popular Italian chocolate bacio (literally kiss), Ferrero rocher… Italians, though, when thinking of Florence and food do not necessarily have ice cream in mind, because every Italian city has got at least one excellent ice cream shop.

Well, actually there are always two best ones and as if they were football teams the city divides into the supporters of one or another.

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gelato


Tuscany is indeed one of the regions famous for its olive oil production and the Chianti vines. This is what is evident when traveling through its landscape:  Smooth hills covered with grape vines and olive trees. One of the typical appetizers is bruschetta: difficult to pronounce but very easy to prepare: a slice of bread rubbed with garlic and garnished with olive oil and (although not always) fresh tomato and parsley. They taste better if you are enjoying it in the countryside, so be sure to spend at least one day's evening outside the city.

You may be surprised that another typical Tuscany recipe is a sort of chestnut cake, the castgnaccio, made of chestnut flour, pine nuts, walnuts, and rosemary, raisins. This is a plain cake as it is made without baking powder or sugar!

castgnaccio


Another similar dish is cecina, a cake made of chickpea flour, water, and oil. This one though is supposed to have its origins in the Liguria region and you can find it also in other Italian regions, as well as in Moroccan and French Cuisine.

cecina


And before leaving Florence be sure to also dip the cantucci in the vin santo!

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How about you? Have you had either of these Tuscan delights?

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7 Comments

  1. I love Italian gelato… it’s the best and there are so many flavors! I am also a big fan of bruschetta… 🙂

    1. @San, I love gelato too, to me it is not as sweet as other ice creams, I love just the “natural” or plain yogurt flavored ones.

  2. that looks so delicious!

    1. @Ierra, doesn’t it? Have you ever had any of these?

  3. Carolyn Jung says:

    Can I have the chestnut cake a la mode with a scoop of gelato? Leave it to my American sensibility to want it all. 😉

    1. @Carolyn, of course, I see nothing wrong with that request!

  4. @andi nope.. i never have one..well maybe,,but maybe not as luxury like that!! the ice cream looks creamy and delicious too,, ^_^